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I am a historian, focused mainly on Irish anthropology, but I do enjoy studying iron age Celts. Just, some minor little bothers, I suppose. I do like the direction, just, some mentions.

You say Celts saw the bow as a cowardly weapon, and, some did. But, some Celts, and some demi-Celts (notably Raetians) actually had large numbers of bows. The Raetians even had a kind of early longbow, and thick arrows. The Celts also used massive numbers of javelins of different types, as well as large numbers of slings. I believe it was a Greek author who said they could actually shade the ground briefly with the huge numbers of missiles they'd put in the air before charging. Ranged weapons were extremely common, though bows were biggest amongst certain groups; other Celts mainly used huge numbers of slings, and practically every Celtic soldier would have some javelins (early Irish military law even required a village be able to provide two javelins and a shield for every able-bodied man and woman of 14 years up in the event of a raid or invasion). Slings were a common hunting weapon for small game; practically every family would own at least one for hunting small fowl.

Your description has a misconception of what a band of fianna is. Fianna were Irish youth mercenaries, most of them were bandits when not working as cheap mercenaries. The use of the general term of 'fianna' as an intentional place to send youth didn't begin until after Cromwell's conquest of Ireland. So many Irish were dispossessed of land, and rightly infuriated, they sent their children off to these bands to disrupt British rule in Ireland. It's not really the same thing in medieval or earlier Ireland. They were largely feared and seen as dregs, often given the alternative name 'gasraidh', 'rabble'. A more appreciative name for some bands was 'Amsaigi', 'Wildmen', but those were typically experienced, veteran mercenaries; professional soldiers without a regular employer (hence 'wild', not meaning they were savage, simply, they had no home; they typically had good armor and gear though from years of experience). Amsaigi were usually not criminals, and were sometimes tied even to what one might call a kind of proto-company; different bands assembled together that would sell their services to a wider variety of people, and organize themselves for such employment. There were also 'fianna' in the sense of the semi-mythic regional full armies, but those too are different. Like, the Fianna Eireann. They weren't composed of 'youths', they were headed by experienced soldiers and had a strict entrance 'exam' composed of numerous very stressful physical tests. Course, the whole thing is moot unless one involves Ireland; Fianna is not a term used by Gauls or Britons, and we actually have rebuilt a good deal of their language. Cintusos would probably be what you mean; a youth levy, which trained young men who wanted to join the warrior class to fight. Not all Celts did that though, just those who wanted to become professional warriors; as in, doing nothing but being a warrior. Most Celtic children would be apprenticed to learn a trade or work on a farm.

Also, there's some misconception of buildings. At least in the sense of walls. Celtic walls were some of the best built in the iron age. They were essentially identical to renaissance fortress walls in basics of construction. They would be packed with sod, and wood tresses, to absorb stress from projectiles or rams, and then faced with stone. An earthwork ramp would go up behind the wall so one could easily get up. The wall itself would often be slanted slightly, and built at the top of a hill. There may be an additional wall or two (or three; some of the biggest cities dug up show evidence of as many as four of these stone-faced walls), and even beyond that, ditches and earthwork ramparts. Actually attacking a Celtic wall was insane. Note that Caesar doesn't really try in earnest to ever do this again after his experience with the Aquitanians. 500 Soldurii (the royal guards of the Aquitanian king) killed far greater their number because Caesar tried to force his way into their fortress. The gates would be doubled; there'd be one gate, an open space, then a second gate that actually opens into the town. This creates a place were defenders would hurl missiles and such down at the attacker if they ram open the first gate. Their defenses were actually really impressively made. Gergovia was a debacle for the Romans. Alesia had to be waited out, and built around to keep reinforcements out. Alesia was already disadvantaged since the food stores were low, having been used to feed Vercingetorix's army.

Also, round houses, no longer common in most of Gaul by 400, pretty much being replaced by rectangular long houses. Later, major cities such as Bibracte and Gergovia would have tenements as much as four stories tall (though only two of those have been found, most are two stories), roofed with tiles. These predate Roman conquest, by the way. These buildings would be made of stone. Cities with them would also have paved roads, using cobble, sod, and wood planks. They were divided into temple regions, housing, and the market, as well as a region that would be almost like a series of large buildings for production; mints, smiths, tailors. Their actual cities in Gaul didn't look at all like people seem to expect. Far more civilized looking. They had running water and cess removal (using copied Greek pumps), large buildings, orderly roads, etc. Little villages would certainly be different, just hoping a big Celtic town won't look comically barbaric, if history is the goal.

Farmsteads are different, that's what villages built up around. A land holder, noble or ignoble, would bring in lots of slaves, paid laborers, etc., they'd build a village around his house, and work his fields, or in his home, or run a road house or whatever, in that area. There you'd see much smaller homes; one or two rooms. Early cities would have similarly small housing, but, as time went on, they grew substantially. Farmsteads didn't need bigger homes to cram more people into a pre-planned fortress though. The average Celtic home in Gaul would be one to four rooms, not necessarily one room. British homes, more often simply a one room round house. Gauls built up to stone houses being more common in some areas as time went on. It's very regional in many ways. However, the big cities would have an almost late medieval look; stone-and-wood construction, tile roofing, large numbers of people living in close quarters.

On Gauls fighting; Gauls carried standards and horns for a reason. It was to arrange and order an attack properly. It wouldn't be that disorderly, though a charge would quickly become disorderly. However, they seemed pretty capable of moving quickly, arranging themselves reasonably, etc. The Irish may provide an example. The Irish used banners (iron age Celts used metal standards, one of the things Rome adopted from them) and horns. Professional soldiers would be assigned to a group based on their basic gear, more or less (if you have a sword or axe or whatever, you go over here), in multiples of 50 or 100, each given a standard to follow, and a hornblower. They would each have a captain, typically a high ranking ignobleman, or, a noble. They'd form a shieldwall or phalanx, throw their javelins, and charge; cavalry was typically used for flanking or as harriers. They could respond swiftly to ambushes. Telamon is a good example. While a Gallic loss, the Roman record of it was that the Romans were actually frightened at the orderliness of the Celtic host, in that they quickly formed into two lines to face the two main bodies of the Roman force (course, then the Romans sent cavalry up on a hill).

Also, while armor would be more rare early in the period you've got (500 BC), by about the mid-100s BC, armor is growing much more common. Mail was already in regular use though as the armor of private retinue though, not just nobility, but, their bodyguards. Gauls kept regular armies as well; they weren't the bulk, which would mainly be the levy, but professional soldiers were a regular thing. In seasons when not fighting, they'd probably be the majority of Celtic mercenaries fighting in nearby regions (professional, career mercenaries though travelled from Gaul much further; the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, to augment their Galatians, got more Celts, by hiring them from Gaul; those guys I doubt were 'seasonal' mercenaries). Would be interesting, if possible, to have some better (though not noble) Celtic soldiers able to be 'rented' to other factions one is at peace with, having them revert in the event that said Celtic faction goes to war, representing seasonal mercenaries.

Some Gallic terminology, dunno if you have this. Celts didn't write much, or at least not much that survived, but they did write some (and they did put together the Coligny Calendar, which is all in Gallic), and we have a few pertinent nouns that might be helpful;

Neitos - 'Champions', literally, is applied to soldiers it seems

Cingetos - Soldiers (lit. 'Marching Ones')

Epos - Horses, seems also 'horse-rider'

Marcos - Horsemen (non-military; probably more like 'horse-owners')

Brihentin - 'Knights' is the common translation; mounted on horseback, well-equipped nobility with a lance, shield, javelins, and a sword, essentially

Eporetos - Chariots (Chariots were used by Gauls at the battle of Telamon)

Cidain - Chariots (Belgic/Gallic British)

Catucarbo - War-Wagon (a heavy chariot)

Cintusos - 'Youths'; a youth levy of young men who are trying to become soldiers (not a general levy)

Cauaros - Giant or hero

Magus - Servant, young boy, something like a squire

Uiros - Men

Decametos - One tenth of an army, or one tenth of a regiment, depending on context; literally 'tenth'

Maru- - 'Great', 'Powerful', 'Large'

Ponto - Boat

Pontone - Ship

Bagaudas - Guerillas or pirates, essentially

-tae/-ae/-dae - 'Men of', for example Gaesatae; 'Spearmen/Men of the Spear'

Of Celtic women, and this also incorporates some articles on the site. They weren't exactly equal to men in everything. They had all the same rights, but there are just some misconceptions. Female rulers were possible, but not that common. Actually leading required one to lead in battle efficiently. The infirmed and such could not. This would also apply to a pregnant woman. Also, one article says Celtic men were like Spartans in that they were advised to obey their wives at home. There is no proof of that at all. In Irish legal records from the Christianization of the island onward, one of the main sources of dispute in marriages was a husband seeking a divorce because his wife nagged him too much. It was a very common complaint. Though, mind, a woman could initiate divorce as well, and, that was apparently a big complaint for women too (being nagged by their husband) to the point of divorce.

There was social fluidity, a woman technically could get any job, become a soldier, whatever, like a man could, but possibility and having a decent chance is a touch different. Having a lengthy combat experience record would be good to get you in a good position to be elected a local headman, or selected from your family as the heir to a noble title. It didn't mean women couldn't get those, they certainly did. The lady of Vix and Cartimandua are phenomenal examples (they get overshadowed by Boudicca though, cause we know her story better, but one should mind she was empowered first by the death of her husband, the Iceni king, who dictated her inherit the title, splitting it with the Roman emperor, not an election; she was not a daughter or niece being given a royal title by election as a tanist, which I think is far more interesting, and was probably the case of Cartimandua). Just a minor thing. Women were technically for the most part, considered equals, but Celts were not egalitarian or completely all inclusive and nice to everyone. They would be way ahead of most of their contemporaries in the sense of how they treated women, but, they shouldn't be seen as to have treated them equally in every sense.

Actually, it's a funny thing (this is a tangent, to forewarn, bout Gaels, but it also explains, for Celts, women were perfectly equal). Gaels traced lineage patrialinically. It's a misconception they followed matrialinical succession. They didn't. Only one title among Gaels was traced matrialinically, and that was the king of Scotland. Also, they didn't really go with 'succession', they had a tanistic election, which is probably a relic of how Celts originally chose heirs. It worked like this.

A new noble rises to his title. His heir will soon be elected from a pool of potentials possessing rigdarna, the 'materials of the king'. This heir must not be indebted, paying off a fine, injured in a grevious or crippling manner, and capable of leading men in battle. He does not need; to possess a noble title, own land, have great wealth (though he must be a freeman), or really, anything else. Though, those all help. He SHOULD possess the qualities of intelligence, a just nature, a pious nature, experience in combat, and/or experience in fiscal matters. First to be examined for this will be mutual grandsons of the current noble's paternal grandfather (for the Scots' king, this would be a maternal grandfather first). Then, the same great-grandfather. This opens a massive pool. From there, if one is not agreed on yet, you can examine maternal grandfather, then maternal great-grandfather's pool of grandsons and great-grandsons. Only after this do you begin to examine women for the position. This creates an obvious disadvantage for a woman to be selected; not impossible, it happened sometimes, but, it was much more difficult.

Now, this doesn't mean women didn't come into landowning positions easily though. These were guidelines only for noble titles. Most Celtic land wasn't owned by nobles, but by free holders who were indebted to nobles monetarily; they owned the land they worked though, and could will it to who ever they wanted, including their daughters.

Medicine. We know Celts had actually very good medicine. Surgical tools are among the most common metal items found in any major settlement outside of coins or weapons. They are found near kilns usually, implying heating was used for cleaning them. Also, from preserved bodies or skulls, we find scar tissue that reveals successful, complex surgery. In northern France, several skulls have been found dating from periods long pre-dating Celts, right into the Celtic period, with scar tissue evidencing successful brain surgery (a scar cut in the skull, the bone was replaced, and the person lived long enough for the bone to fuse properly back together). This implies knowledge of disinfectants of some kind, and probably anasthesia. In Irish mythic account, the hero Cethern is placed in a barrel of a slurry made from cattle being ground up to heal his stomach wounds, from which his innards were spilling. He was then stitched up. Here's the trick. That would actually work to save his life if he was losing so much blood. It's the most basic form of a bovine-human blood transplant, which wouldn't be otherwise noted anywhere up till the American Civil War.

Just some minor other things, probably more pertinent to the game itself;

The Britons had a very superior strain of grain grown at the time. We still can't reproduce it, but he have remnants of it from bodies and so on. It's mentioned also a few times. It would have yielded vastly more grain than others at the time, and would've probably been healthier. It's just a thought.

The Celts formulated the most accurate calendar in Europe at the time. The Coligny Calendar is singularly one of the most advanced, complex calendars ever made prior to the advent of electronic computers. While it does not perfectly account for days (each year would have a lost day), the calendar was made by people aware of that; they had a measure in it for correcting the days, by moving days on certain dates to other dates. The calendar would be able to properly find the phase of the moon perfectly any day you wanted in the future, no matter how many years, if you were willing to do a little math. It can perfectly nail the beginning and ends of seasons, proper days at any point in the future. Without modern computing, we could not do a calendar so well without extensive mathematics, but the Coligny Calendar is, when one understands the system, relatively easy to use. Dunno if that could mean anything in the game, but an interesting aside, and a kind of testament to the methods of druids; to be able to work this thing out without extensive writing. By the way, it is the single most extensive piece of writing in the language of Gauls. Despite apparently lacking math in some arenas, their knowledge of astronomy and the pertinent mathematics was simply phenomenal.

Celtic mercenaries. They were so common, I do hope there'll be some system in place to see them (and other mercenaries) used. Some mercenaries you may not think of; the aforementioned Amsaigi from Ireland, for British Celts, perhaps (though the stories about them also see them serving various kings in Gaul), mid-way through a game abouts. They'd be interesting maybe just for a different appearance, as they'd be Gaels, the post-Brythonic Irish. You know, knee-length shirt, bare-legs, a shoulder cloak. Shield. 'Girdle of Steel' (one of the coolest and most overlooked pieces of ancient armor in my opinion, pretty much confined to Ireland and parts of Britain). A slashing sword imported from Gaul. Javelins. A spear. A sling. A helmet. Professional, tough mercenaries, equipped to mess up anyone, though they'd probably be historically accompanied by younger, less flashy 'squires'.

Celtic equipment. The Celtic soldier was capable of fighting in a unit. They did so repeatedly, and made pretty good account of themselves. They were not absent of discipline, but it's more, a sense of heroic culture got the better of them at other times, and made discipline a bit tricky. But, if they really needed to, they could stick together. Thing is, all the actual warriors (not the 'levies', but those in the warrior class who made a career of it) were probably all pretty much a self-contained fighting unit, if needed. Javelins should be extremely plentiful, of various types (darts up to the big heavy gaeso); practically every Celt should have some realistically. But, some, would actually have a number of weapons. Javelins, sling, spear, shield, a sword or axe, and a backup knife was entirely possible on one person, intended to give him the edge in almost any combat situation. Will soldiers be able to carry more than one or two weapons? Most Celtic nobles should have at least the javelins, spear, and sword. Of course, lighter troops would be more reliant on just the spear and their javelins, maybe a cheaply made shortsword or long knife.

On that note; shortswords. Very common with Celts. Substantially cheaper make, usually, than the more famous Celtic swords. Perfectly within a young man's ability to afford, assuming he has a paying job or is perhaps training to be a soldier. The Galatians and assumably Gauls were actually somewhat impressive with these. I'll explain (like anyone cares at this point, Jesus I ramble). The Galatians, at least, were remarkable with shortswords. They'd give them to their younger warriors often, or they'd buy them. Because of their enemies, these fellows had a special job, based on new archaeological studies about the city-state of Pergamon. Much like Renaissance anti-pike soldiers, such as Spain had in plentiful number, these fellows would approach a pike phalanx, and use their light shield (square, rectangular or round, not the long shields of more popular Celtic shock infantry) to knock the pike up and roll under the formation. Then, he'd stab a man in the gut with his short cutting and thrusting sword. A pike phalanx needs rigidity, and everyone to hold fast or else it can collapse quickly. A bunch of these guys doing this at once would pretty much simply break a pike phalanx. Some would try and hold steady and be stabbed, others would drop their pikes to try and draw a sword before being killed. Either way, the potency of the formation is utterly smashed, opening the floodgates, as it were, for a devestating Celtic charge, javelins and all, smashing into the now disordered formation. It may explain why the pikes of Pergamon began to have the second row kneel; to intercept those men who'd otherwise simple roll under the formation. Having either of those maybe, a kneeling phalanx, or a phalanx opening manuever like that would be interesting.

Maybe a differentiation between raiding parties and armies could be done via standards and horns. An actual army regiment (don't know how it'd be arranged) would have a standard, horn, and captain with it. They'd only follow orders and attempt to defend themselves for a time before trying to charge an enemy (more or less, after being sufficiently goaded into a charge). A raiding party would act more freely if near anything they'd be free to kill or destroy, and lack any command structure. Just a thought. Know that may be unnecessarily complex. I do think goading enemies to attack should be involved if possible. More disciplined troops would resist it better, but anyone, either by being attacked at a distance, or yelled at enough, will probably reach a breaking point. And don't say the Romans didn't, cause they did. Repeatedly. Faesula for example (Celts laid an ambush and more or less dragged the Romans into it and slaughtered them, before Telamon). They would, though, be relatively more resilient to it with the institution of Marius's reformed army (prior to that I'd figure they'd be just as susceptible; the Romans weren't always so disciplined as they were in the more popular view of the legion, which is the post-Marian legion).

In that vein, morale would be nice, don't know if I've ever seen it done in a game like this. Morale is low enough, units begin to break (and units near them reduce in morale, potentially leading to a mass withdrawl) to their camp or city or whatever, making a fighting retreat in good order (throwing or firing missile weapons, stopping briefly to engage in a melee perhaps). Lower, they just bolt, don't attempt to fight, and head for safety. Too low, they simply flee blindly away from the enemy, possibly getting spread over the area aimlessly, or trapped between different groups of enemies. Morale would be dependent on how well-off an individual soldier is, how many of the enemy have died in a certain period of time, how many allies nearby, etc. Just a thought though, I'm really not certain of practicality. And if you're already instituting a morale system, by all means, ignore my babble-ry.

Celtic trade, prior to the advent of the Roman Empire (which had with it, the conquest of Gaul) was some of the most extensive in Europe with the exception of Carthage. Celtic objects are found into northern India and possibly China (truth is, the Chinese government isn't always forthcoming about non-Chinese or otherwise East Asian artifacts found in their country; it's why the study of the Tocharian mummies is so slow, but, c'est la vie, archaeology and anthropology is dicey sometimes). A big part of the Aedui-Arverni/Sequani dispute was control of trade lanes. ...That and the Arverni willfully killed merchants from the Aedui or their dependents, which was a huge bad mark to Celts, and was part of why the Biturges (themselves formerly having been rulers of the Gauls) collapsed to political pressure and sided with the Aedui. The Aedui were legally inheritors of Gaul from the Biturges politically, but it's not like the Biturges were happy with that. However, after Germanic incursions and Belgae invasion made the Aedui look bad, power shifted to the Arverni. The Aedui and their close allies, obviously bowed out of siding with them. The Biturges, like many tribes, stayed neutral. They sided with the Aedui though when it was found the Arverni were freely commiting offenses against the common Gallic law.

Law. That should be something for Celts perhaps. Celts were fracticious. Very factional, tribal. But, they did have a unified code of law, and three places are recorded where druids went to discuss law and other matters, from all tribes available, to keep the different tribes and kingdoms with a unified basic legal code. These are; in the lands of the Carnutes, in Aulercia, a hidden council, the island of Anglesey, as it's called today, and Teamhair, or Tara, in Ireland, also the coronation site of Irish high kings. Their legal code should maybe come into play somehow, or the councils. It was very complex, and relatively civilized. It's also what allowed them to sometimes actually form long-lived kingdoms or confederations; reliance on a single legal code. This code was also important in Celtic identity, because, Celts didn't recognize themselves all as 'Celts'. Only two Celtic people are known to have called themselves 'Celt'; the Gauls (Celtae), and the central European (not Italian) Boii, who ruled most of central Europe. They called themselves 'Celtae', or 'Keltoi', according to the Greeks. However, they all did have a unifying, organized religion (though the religion itself had many regional variants, the druids themselves had some unity) and the basics of their legal code. This allowed even a distant unity, between people who probably didn't view themselves as the 'same' most of the time; they could say to eachother though that they shared a sense of what was properly licit or illicit, which is a powerful uniter. Have to remember, the continental Celts said they all descended from the Sky-Father (Dispater), but they broke it down further, that specific tribes came from certain gods or heroes. And that can lead to a lot of factionalism. But, they could all respect they had the same idea of right and wrong, even if they were fighting eachother. Their law, in some abstracted way, can hopefully play a part.

The Gaels! Heh...no, I suppose that won't happen. Really, they wouldn't be affecting Rome much till the late 400s, aside from raids. Niall of the Nine Hostages probably had a major affect on the reason Rome withdrew from Britain, but, he died in the early 500s, out of period. Other than that, there are Irish raids, some Irish mercenaries, and maybe the Attacotti were Irish (it's one of several theories). That and they wouldn't show up till 200 - 50 BC. Before that they'd more resemble Britons. After that, very different clothing and such.

I think I'll stop now.

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Wow! You truly are a treasure trove of information Anthony (y) Sadly, we are not professional historians so we do screw up quite a bit. Enthusiastic amateurs is a good description :)

The Celtic terms will be certainly implemented into the game. Ours were a mixture of words taken from Welsh, Gaelic, and other Celtic-descendent languages. Please keep posting as you find things you think should be rectified!

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Dandy. I don't want to step on anyone's toes or nothing though. However, as a matter of clarity; Celts were not disordered. The Cubi-Biturge Confederacy is mentioned by Greeks. They ruled much of Europe, and they were Celts. Gaul more or less formed out of its collapse. Though, the name 'Gaul' is confusing. It may have been a native Celtic word, or a Punic word (G'L; 'Foreigner', pronounced the same as 'Gaul', and identical or similar to many Celtic words for foreigner; Gall, Gal, Gel, etc.). Most of Gaul and southern Britain was at one time a Biturge controlled territory (their name means 'World Kings', or 'Kings of the World'). Their proper political descendants would be the Aedui. However, the Aedui were more involved in trade and diplomacy than war, and suffered badly as the Celtic Belgae and the early Germanic tribes raided Gaul, getting them ire from the Arverni. The Gallic druids supported the Aedui, driving the Arverni to a concept of a 'divine' king; one who was the divine king of all Gaul, as 'Verrix', literally, 'Super/Great-King'. The Aedui were more driven by druidic magistrates, the Gobre, led by a Vergobret (Super-Magistrate), at least by 300 BC, possibly earlier. These magistrates organized regional kings under a singal unified body, or tried to, a good bit of the time successfully.

The common assumption is they were inspired by Roman government, but, they did act a bit different (not saying they weren't, but if they were, it was 'inspiration', not 'copying', as it was different). Course, that could just mean they mixed it with local concepts of governance. The Aedui's dependents (Aulerci, Insubres, and later other, like the Biturges, Lemovicians, and various Armorican tribes), and they themselves, had a seperate king, but also 'magistrates', the Gobre, meant to organize them into a single body, with a Vergobret (Super-Magistrate; a consul, essentially) as the highest body. This opposed the Verrix; "Super-King" or "Great King", more roughly "High King" of Gaul the Arverni proposed. Such a ruler was common among earlier Celts, and among the Romanized Britons and Gaelic Irish tribes even into the period of Christian conversion, probably saying the Arverni weren't the originators of the concept. However, they did pursue it with exceptional zeal. Replacing the druidic god Cernunnos with their own tribal god (Arvernos), who they claimed their king was part of; that alone would be enough for disconcertation, but it was all trying to increase the prestige of their idea of a Verrix, a king over kings, for Gaul.

Alternative technologies for Gallic Celts might be well. Magistrative Gauls or High Kingship Gauls. Trade/diplomacy or military based, respectively. Just a thought.

Celts in general shouldn't be, if one wants real history, stereotypical barbarians. From all archaeology, and contemporary readings, combined, and sifting through propaganda, we find a genuinely civilized people. Militaristic, certainly. Anymore, we can say human sacrifce was actually probably a probability (view skulls of the dead, already executed, then post-death mutilated the same ways; it seems very ritual), but, at the same time, we can with full certainty say they built big cities and roads, pre-dating Romans (the first Celtic paved roads were built when Rome, the city itself, still had dirt roads), and had large populations in their cities. Celts should not, if one wants realism, be depicted as a savage or disorderly people. The tribal aspect is united in, alternatively, magistrates or a high king. And any honest, educated Roman historian would point out, Republican Rome itself was composed of various tribes, often very disparate, so don't assume tribes equal uncivilized.

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Wow. That's quite an introduction to the forums. Welcome to WFG, Anthony! That's quite an interesting document you've got there. I can't wait for your next 'minor little bother'. (y)

I just don't wish to be any bother. Know you all must be awful busy. And don't want to present myself as some smug @#$% who whines bout everything. It's just, I feel, some bits and bobs bout Celts might be done better. If I'm any issue, I sure don't want to be, and you can tell me to be quiet, and I will. But, if I can be any help, I'd sure love to be, no cost or nothing. Mind I mostly work as a translater and such, which is a cost, heh. I know this is freeware, it's just, I'd love to see ANY game, ANY, with a realistic selection of Celtic peoples. None do it. I'd happily help with that for free, if I'm needed, but, I'm not here to step on anyone's toes, not at all.

You have to understand, for a real Celtic historian, a lot can be very frustrating. People want to believe, it seems, the 'noble savage' theory. But, Celts weren't really 'noble' (they probably commited human sacrifce based on recent archaeology, and there was the whole 'To the strong belong all things' philosophy qouted from a Celtic king), and they weren't really 'savage' either (developed cities, complex sciences understood, standing armies in a Greek city-state fashion almost, and even organized into something bigger than a Greek 'koinon'/alliance).

In short, Celts knew what they were doing. These were an advanced, intelligent people, even by standards of what we think of as 'Rome' (again minding; prior to Emperor Augustus, Rome had dirt roads, but by the time Julius conquered Gaul PRIOR to the emperors, including himself, the Gauls had paved roads for their own cities, elective government, what we'd call an 'organized religion', standing armies, etc.). Gauls were NOT the antithesis to Roman 'order'. Hell, they partly inspired it in all reason. Their ability to consolidate client kingdoms as part of a greater whole; they did it before Romans did. Their genuinely organized religion that allowed sharing ideas between themselves and 'foreign' Celts who shared that religion (I'm a Catholic by the way, but I do respect advancements of the real ancient pagans, as did early Christian authors who exemplified Plato and other Greek authors; please don't use my religion to judge me).

Organized religion, regardless of political or theological feelings to it, DOES allow quick advancement over a wide area. People who HATE eachother, but share a common religious body, will gain benefits of both more quickly than those of local or nationalized religion (take the Reformation; very quick scientific advancement amongst Protestants, but very slow to spread it; Catholics, in fairness, a bit slower to invent, but faster to share invention, due to a shared religious body, with orders like Jesuits, even today, respected scientists, who spread these innovations).

The Celts had this, in druids. Celtic tribes could loath one another, have different ideas about their religion, but, ultimately, they had a similar set of beliefs, and unified law.

In fact, it gives me an idea. With multiple Celts in play, maybe have innovations one Celtic faction gains quicker to gain for other Celts, and the more Celts with it, the quicker for others, because druids were 'multi-national', in a sense. They didn't care about individual factions, they had a religious faith, and an ideology, to spread. Which tribe did it was pretty much irrelevant. Being the most skilled priests, smiths, historians, poets, law-makers, etc., they'd be spreading it quicker with the more tribes practicing X technique or technology. Just a thought, though.

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I apologize for double posting, forgive me please, but just wish to point out of Celts, in relation to ranged weapons;

It wasn't all honor. Celts wanted to win. They had families at home. These guys came with slings, and, as mentioned, huge numbers of javelins. 'Honor' romanticizes them, and they were 'honorable', in a sense, but these were also real people. They wanted land, or treasure, for their families. How they got it was near irrelevant. Not totally, but nearly. Ambushing was cowardly, as such, but not totally forbidden (the Irish allowed those of 'Ruire' rank in nobility or higher to order it against FOREIGN enemies without being fined, but those lower would be forced to send an 'apology', in treasure and a message, to the enemy). Just want to cut the 'noble savage' idea off at the knees; that wasn't Celts. Celts are far more like modern folks than we tend to think. I should think, assuming they don't commit human sacrifice and ritual raids, Celts practicing their pagan religion in a modern society would be acceptable; they were brutal in war, possibly commited human sacrifice of enemies and criminals (probably criminals, almost certainly, and probably enemy warriors too), but, they were fairly close to a modern idea. They had nobles and freemen and slaves and such, but people could move between classes. They treated women with a modicum of respect. They had a semi-elective government (their judges, the law-makers, were elected by all freemen, their nobles, effectively military leaders, by other nobles), and had a system of checks and balances.

Which is to say this;

Judges could be ousted by their local electors for unfair trials, or not representing the locals properly at a legal council (not giving their votes right).

Judges could fine and even remove nobles from power for abuse or misuse of powers, or breaking the honors required of them.

Nobles could require military service of freemen, and taxes, though, not for himself; his own wealth mainly had to come from his own farms or businesses. Only a portion of taxes were his. The rest went to a treasury, who used them to build and maintain roads and public works (asylums, hospitals, orphanages, all of those were very important to Celts, to care for the very elderly, mentally unfit, ill, or uncared for children, including from enemies, and also others like roads, the dole for the levy, and the equipment of the standing army, though it wasn't as much as Rome, obviously).

Slaves even had rights. Needed to be fed, clothed, housed, protected from grevious harm (beating a disobedient slave was okay, but not one working, for example) and slaves had a quarter-vote in regional matters.

They had, while not perfectly modern, a society more friendly to 'human rights' than most ancient societies. But it wasn't all about honor. They took massive numbers of slaves, slaughtered huge numbers of people, razed whole cities, etc. Celts are not the 'good guys'. They are a real historic people, a real historic civilized people no less, and much like the rest of the people in the iron age, did things we should rightfully find reprehensible. But, they were not, by the standard of their time, savage.

Edited by AnthonyL
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Wow :) I agree with PPE, that was truly a great introduction :)

Keep it up (y) While we of course can't take everything into account as the game has been some time into development and we have to simplify things for the sake of gameplay (and of course to be able to get the game finished :) ) we're sure interested in your thoughts. If nothing else for the sake of getting to know more about the Celts :)

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This is all very helpful, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that is glad that you dropped by. If you would like, you could apply to become an official historian that specializes in the Celts.

Historians at WFG write documents for possible campaigns and units, and basically watch development and point out things that could, or need to be improved before release. Everything from animations to units to textures are monitored by historians to ensure the historical aspect of the game we strive to publish as one of the greatest RTS games of its time.

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The actual application form is not working for the time being, so using the information requested in this form, post a new topic in the Applications Forum. Click here for an example thread.

The application form is basically a formatted resume to suit the information that we need to asses your value to the team's efforts. The use of a public forum makes the application process much more personal and communication can be exchanged rapidly on both ends. The forums are our primary front of communication between the team and you'll be interviewed in a casual, comfortable environment by our staff on a personal basis.

We prefer to work on a first name basis, but using a forum alias is also acceptable. Your application will be evaluated and judging by today's performance, you'll definitely be a member of WFG soon enough!

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I suppose a bit more rambling. On housing, and its development and regional variation at greater length than before;

Round houses - Round houses are the oldest type of Celtic dwelling, actually pre-dating Celts in some of the cultures that ultimately produced Celtic society. These would be the Urnfelders, Beakers, Bronze Axe, etc. A round house could vary in size, was typically one room, but entire hostels, palaces, etc., have been essentially massive, multi-room, multi-floor round houses, like the palace of Emain Macha. It was simply an enormous round house covered in sod. The British, northern Iberians, Irish, and Armoricans, used round houses the longest. Round house construction varies; wattle and daub was most common, but stone houses also existed.

Long houses - Celtic long houses were most prevelant in most of Gaul and southeastern Britain. They'd be composed of wood, or wood and stone. They'd be 1-4 rooms usually, and were a facet of both villages, larger towns, and early Celtic cities. They'd be arranged in these settlements in blocks, more or less, rather than arranged in a round about the head man's house like earlier round houses were. Some would have two stories; the bottom floor was often a shop in these cases, and they'd be a facet of market areas. Most had a basement (and all in cities seem to have had them). The best of them would have tile roofing. Northern Gaul mainly had wood houses, but in the cities, these would mainly be stone. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a region being a farmstead or fortress (though not definitively, but it gives a good point to work from) is to find if the houses in the settlement are mainly wood (a farmstead, most likely) or stone (a city).

Tenements - Tenements are first found among Celts dating to the early 2nd century BC, corresponding with population condensation in cities, and are part of the earliest stages of urbanization that culminated with larger cities by the end of the century. Tenements would be 2-4 stories (most known are 2-3 though), roofed with tile, connected to a main aquifer with a copied Greek pump for communal water use, and probably built by local landlords for much the same reason similar structures later appeared. These allowed a landlord to possess a smaller portion of the land in a city and still have a large number of tenants. These buildings were composed primarily of stone and some wood, and would have space for many families in a space that'd normally be occupied only by maybe two or three. These were essentially a progression of long houses, made larger and more economical with the interior space. These would not be seen on farmsteads. They would also have a basement for storage of various goods; salted meat, meads, ales, and beer, and perhaps wine if the locals are wealthy enough.

Of other structures;

A common facet of a Celtic city, and some larger towns, was the large dole or armory of the local magistrate, chief, or king. These didn't just have weapons and armor for his actual soldiers, but also cheaper weapons, simple shields, etc., for the local levy in the event of an attack on his area. While it is true Celtic warriors bought much of their own gear, provisions were made by their leaders to equip them. Mind though, only his personal guards and select soldiers would probably get good gear under this system, but it did ensure everyone had javelins, a spear, and in most cases a shield, low quality as they may have been compared to those specially bought by individual soldiers. As time went on, the relative size and quality of such doles increased as a means to put together larger, professional armies, as well as an attempt to increase the overall quality of the non-warrior levy. A dole might be a good building perhaps? Could have things relating to giving out certain things, increasing the speed with which one could get lower scale soldiers, but decreasing their actual combat effectiveness slightly, and then with options to increase the quality of items in the dole to counteract the initial weakness brought on by giving out cheap gear. Just a thought, I don't know how far along things are, or if that'd work at all.

Temples. Celtic temples at first weren't really temples at all. They were shrines, built in the open air, around sacred places or as part of cemetaries. Later, their temples began to become much more complex. The smaller temples were often round, wood, with wooden pillars holding up a tiled roof with a statue or other devotional object in the middle. These were eventually replaced with wood and stone temples resembling those of the Hellenes, but without walls, except for an inner solarium (which would be closed except for a hole in the roof to let in sunlight). These complexes would also be fenced, with a ditch around them, a maintained grove or orchard, a votive pool, and an interior ditch for votive offerings (broken weapons and armor of enemies, for example).

Palaces. These got pretty big sometimes. Wood, stone, and marble would be used, as well as metalwork in the construction and decoration. Celtic palaces included courtyards, gardens, and numerous interior sub-structures, like wine cellars, a personal armory for the nobles there (and their bodyguards), a treasury, bedrooms for both the family of the noble and for guests, a reception hall, a dining hall, a small shrine (most Celtic homes had a shrine, but here I mean an actual room for it specifically), and whatever else there might be money to build onto it. They were intended to be extravagant displays of power but also were built, we think, in a way very conducive to defense, should enemies breach the doors (which were typically reinforced with heavy iron bands). Gallic and British palaces resembled eachother; not necessarily symmetrical, but typically two floors and a large number of cellars, and, based on finds of manacles, places to hold prisoners. These would sometimes be capped with a round, stone tower, a kind of prototype of the medieval keep. Those were biggest in northern Britain, where they'd often be the entirety of the dwelling of a headman (as their kings and such weren't so rich or powerful as those from Gaul and southern Britain, and are related to the brochs of the Scots, and were contemporary with the first Gaelic duns. The Irish equivalent of a palace was not a dun though, but a massive round house, packed with gravel and sod on the exterior for protection. It'd be multiple floors, with a stone wall construction for the foundation, and divided into several rooms, and would have a large basement.

Markets. Markets were composed of many buildings. Some were homes with shops attached, others would be inns of a sort, for travelling merchants, and others would be open air market places for auctions. Markets varied from only one or two businesses up to dozens crammed along a few streets in a Celtic city. Also in such places were blacksmiths and other after craftsmen, slave traders, etc.

Grainaries and other communal food supply, in the event of a siege or other catastrophe, were located near a city center, a large area near the regional leader or administrator's dwelling. These were also places to store food and drink for the many festivals and holidays Celts held.

And other bits about Celts;

Gaming was extremely common. We find huge amounts of dice, pieces for gaming boards, balls for various sports, etc. Hurling or shinty, as played in modern Ireland and Scotland respectively seems to have been played, as well as many other games, and gambling was probably common. We know Celts were fond of foot races, horse racing, and mock battles and fights, wrestling and pugilism, as well as team sports. Seeing as these are probably a big part of the average young man's life, it's probable such things were in part a method of ensuring good health and some basic sense of teamwork, for eventual training in combat. In Irish myths, one can find several heroes were essentially the modern equivalent of a sports star; Cu Chullain was remarkably skilled at hurling, for example, and acquired a lot of fame with it. References are also made to games being played between even formerly warring tribes or foreign people as a means to build good will or settle a minor dispute.

Government. Celts as a whole had no single unifying body, except a common religious-based law that had sway over very large portions of the Celts (but not all of them). However, Celts did have regional governments. These are, again to clarify this point, not egalitarian, that's a myth. Celtic society was socially fluid, but also heavily stratified. The three basic types of people in their society were slaves, freemen, and the sacred classes of nobles, priests, higher status crafters, and artists. Elections were held on a local level for a headman of a family, but it was nobility that elected the heirs to noble titles. The Aedui's confederacy used a magistrative government that had appointed heads that got the various kings within the confederacy to work together, under the direction of the Vergobret (Super/Great Magistrate). However, all had the kings and the breakdown from there. Kings and other noble grades had heirs selected by their vassals and dependents, all of them nobles or of an equivalent grade in the sacred classes. Freemen could elect their local judges and leaders, but did not elect their nobles. More egalitarian societies would probably be the early Germanic tribes, with their temporarily elected war leaders and their rather disjointed smaller confederacies; it was imitation of Celtic then Roman governments that led to the more familiar proto-feudal model of migration age Germans. Iberians also would be more egalitarian, particularly the Lusitanian tribes. Celtiberians had a society more resembling the Celts in structure mainly, though the Arevaci operated a bit differently. However, Iberia had long possessed much more disparate societies (Celtiberians, northern Iberian Celts, Lusitanians, the actual Iberi, not to mention Punic Carthaginians and Hellenic colonies and city-states). Nobility in Celtic society had many functions, but was mainly for military and diplomatic matters. Nobles possessed private farms and businesses, as well, and used their personal wealth to encourage people to join their army, support them on certain issues, and to build personal things for them. Treasuries were maintained by the body of judges, and were used for what would amount to 'public works'; maintaining roads, particularly the main roads between or inside cities, walls, hospitals, temples, and other public spaces. These could be ordered by the noble, but these would fall outside of things that were just for his personal use. A noble was only guaranteed housing as part of his station; not land, money, or otherwise, and only recieved a small allowance of taxes for his private use. This is probably why Celtic nobility, to maintain or gain their title, could not be indebted, or incapable of paying off their debts and fines. They had to have their own wealth to use. To cut this down a bit; nobility is far more complex in Celtic society than I think many people get, I believe probably inspired by the idea of the 'noble savage', which was very popular in the Victorian era to describe ancient Celtic and Germanic peoples, and presented a bit more lauding a picture than history actually paints of their society, while at the same time making them seem far less advanced than we these days know they were.

But, since I'm longwinded, wish to illustrate differences a bit. Germanic tribes had councils, and much shorter-lived leaders, who were essentially just war leaders. Celts when they formed probably had leaders more resembling them, but by the period you're talking, they've got kings who regularly ruled for life, farmsteads, vassalage, etc. By 300, when we start to get more extensive foreign accounts of them, the northern confederacy headed by the Aedui had a kind of confederated republic, led by a series of magistrates and various regional kings. This is substantially different from Germanic confederacies which were much more localized, as individual tribes within the confederacies for the most part controlled little territory individually. Gallic tribes possessed overlordship of numerous neighbors directly in a system of military vassalage, hostaging (a very common aspect of ancient politics; exchange of hostages to secure diplomatic deals was used by near everyone), and tribute. Structurally, it resembles later feudalism, at least superficially.

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Big critical studies of Celtic architecture are fairly recent in the scheme of things, in large part cause it's only recently we're finding more in what was Gaul than tombs, walls, and sometimes houses. We're finding larger buildings, water flows and cisterns, entire districts of large towns, etc. Of course, in a degraded state from so long underground, but we're still learning a huge amount. Britain and Ireland were always a bit more forthcoming with buildings, but are more difficult to find lots of fairly well preserved material goods in one place, which Gaul gives up in spades (swords, armor, helmets; we've got more than we know what to do with..course, technically, the same is true of Ireland and Britain, we have more than we can study at once, and like most archaeological finds, they end up in storage for years and years, but, point is, Gaul gives much more).

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Anthony, thanks for taking the time to post all of this valuable information in a format that could easily be used by the design of a game. Unfortunately, much of what we have based the design of the Celt is based on interpretations of Celtic history books (by myself) - and looking for specific information for the purposes of the game that sometimes didn't exist. It is sort of a 'best guess' by an amateur Celtic enthusiast (me).

I believe you filled out an application form, but we would be happy to have you review our Celtic material/design within the game to check for accuracy. In most cases I wager we could accommodate, but 0 A.D. is intended to be a game which sometimes clashes with ideas of what a historical simulation would look like. We would value your input

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Anthony, thanks for taking the time to post all of this valuable information in a format that could easily be used by the design of a game. Unfortunately, much of what we have based the design of the Celt is based on interpretations of Celtic history books (by myself) - and looking for specific information for the purposes of the game that sometimes didn't exist. It is sort of a 'best guess' by an amateur Celtic enthusiast (me).

I believe you filled out an application form, but we would be happy to have you review our Celtic material/design within the game to check for accuracy. In most cases I wager we could accommodate, but 0 A.D. is intended to be a game which sometimes clashes with ideas of what a historical simulation would look like. We would value your input

I would be happy to review whatever is done though to check for accuracy, perhaps write more appropriate names for units if needed. I'm aware not everything I mention can be done or such though, but, I'll write it up anyway. You guys may have an idea how to use something reasonably in the game that I don't, so nice to lay out whatever information possible.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Anthony,

I just discovered this project and the forums glad to see you're helping out these guys on this great project.

If you'd like to see some good examples of period celtic units check out the RTW mod Europa Barbarorum. Anthony is Faction Coordinator for the Celtic factions in EB and you can see for yourselves what a wonderful job he's done.

I hope it can provide some of the fans waiting for your release with some entertainment. I'm also now eagerly awaiting the release of your game.

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  • 6 months later...

Anthony posted on the EB forums quite a bit as two different people. For the first while as Ranika, until he submitted blatantly fabricated sources, quotes, and other information to the mod. It created a big stink in the EB forums.

After that happened, Ranika began posting saying that he wasn't in fact Ranika, but Ranika's cousin, Anthony. Who appeared as soon as Ranika suddenly falls off the face of the earth never to return again. With Ranika's password, and the same interests. Finally he created a new username, but you can still find some a-historical and non-sourced posts by Anthony on the forums. His username is just Anthony.

This is a much-talked about thread from EB's earlier days... The island that he claims to come from doesn't exist and there hasn't been a monastery in that area for 600 years or some such. You can decide the validity of that post for yourself.

See: http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.p...ighlight=quotes

Also see http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=89631, where someone systematically shows that Ranika is full of BS, before being derailed with ad-hominems.

Nothing here is flat-out darning, but all together it makes a decent case. Honestly, just ask this guy for sources on some of his fantastic stuff. I just don't want you guys to get duped by this mofo.

[edit]Wijitmaker: your concerns have been noted - Note that if this topic strays from the intention of this thread, it will be closed[/edit]

Edited by Wijitmaker
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  • 1 year later...


I posted several month ago. I speak French and I'm member of the francophone community of Total War. www.universtotalwar.fr

Sorry for my bad english.

I'm passionate by the history and in particular the Gallic civilization.

I noticed many faults mainly on the equipment, and and I will offer a series of documents and of images to you.. The PDF-Documents are in French, I hope that one of you is French-speaking because they are of excellent qualities.

Sorry for the too many pictures, there aren't "spoiler" ? :)

An excellent English link on the armament:


The habitat at the time of LaTène:



The artisanal district of Bibracte

The fortified farm of Paule:


The tools:




Activities of the Celtic society:
























Metallurgy and art:





The warriors and the war:





For the French-speaking:

The Celtic Armament by André Rapin

The war and the weapons of the first century BC

A specialist of the re-enactment

A group of Re-enactment of the third century BC:








A group of Re-enactment of the first century BC:











Edited by Genava55
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